tv Your Bottom Line CNN June 4, 2011 9:30am-10:00am EDT
there are two americas, the one growing and the one left behind. which one do you live in? good morning, everyone. i'm christine romans from your job to your home your savings and your child's education, how do you get to the side that's getting ahead? let's start with jobs. the job market for the class of 2011 is better than it's been for several years. three out of four companies are planning to hire new grads in the coming year and every one of those jobs is needed. these kids have a mountain of student debt to pay. look at how average student debt has grown in recent years to more than $23,000. rick newman the chief business correspondent with "u.s. news and world report" tam mara, a vice president of policy and president with a public policy center and author of "strapped why america's 20 and 30 somethings can't get ahead." the america you live in might depend on the choices you're making when 18 years old. engineering, math, computer jobs, look at what kind of earnings you get the top of many
of those filed fields. compare that with education, social work, and the arts, tamara, even if 2011 grads were wise enough to choose one of these majors, competition is tough and buried under a mountain of student debt. >> everybody is scared because it feels like the american dream is unraveling before our eyes. we have a graduate class, 2011, $24,000 in student loan debt. this is the primary thing we tell people to do to get on the other side, the success side, go to college, but even that is no longer a guarantee. as you said, those recent college grads are still better off because the reality is, in one generation, young workers have lost considerable ground compared to their moms and dads. everybody's earning less than their moms and dads did 30 years ago except people with college degrees. >> doesn't it limit you if you don't have access to the capital too get yourself in school, you fall short by a few thousand dollars on the student loans, might limit your ability to get
the degree which you need longer term to get ahead. >> what we know happens is the financial challenge of paying for college is the number one reason, students drop out. we've created this debt for diploma system that saddles grads with too much debt and keeps bright students from fulfilling their potential. >> the difference between a public college per year cost and a private college per year cost. we know that the president and congress have put more money and attention on community colleges. do we need to rethink how much we're spending for that education? >> i think we definitely need to invest more in community colleges. they are doing a great job educating first generation college students, lower income students but really under resourced. the major challenge is if you look at what states spend on higher ed it's at a 25-year low. that's a major reason why tuition keeps sky rocketing. >> you hear all these budget cuts, not like they're piling money into it. >> how do you graduate. >> a good career. >> there are not enough jobs to go around. it's not just for new grads,
it's for every age group in almost every profession. >> that's the baseline. >> be aware of that. think what do i have to do to get above the level. i'm one of the people who gets a job. the most important thing is know what kinds of skills are in demand. just because you spent, you know, $100,000 to get an expensive degree doesn't mean anybody cares. you have to know what companies want, and there are a lot of things they do want. they want analytical skills, math and engineering talent, they want you to be able to take what you know about something you studied in liberal arts school and apply social media skills to that. you have to develop all of these skills, you know, look at the job listings, notice, practically all of them involve some kind of technology, whether it's cloud computing, social media and that doesn't mean you have to be a programmer or something like that. it means you have to apply these things to many different disciplines that maybe don't have anything to do with technology. >> i call it liberal smarts. if you're a liberal art, figure out how to put your arts smartly into a science and technology field.
>> you have to keep learning. skills get outdated faster than ever mainly because of technology. >> you said -- >> keep going. >> demean yourself. please, what generation, kid coming out of school wants to demean themselves. >> recent grads over the last few years, no surprise, lot work in jobs that don't require a college degree, retail jobs, cashiers, clerks, waiters, things like that. you have to do that. again, people in their 50s are doing this, working, you know, what they think is below their pay grade if you will. you have to do that if that's what it takes to start paying back the loans but fence off time to develop what you want your career to be. devote however much and many hours you can whether it's 15, 20 hours, doing an internship, researching, networking, these things, create the time to do that. you have to work hard. sorry about that. >> got to work really hard and be lucky too. as you said there aren't enough jobs to go around. rick newman, "u.s. news and world report" and tam mara, thank you so much. a crisis in housing is an opportunity for investors, but
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it's been called the lost decade in real estate. ten years of home equity wiped out. home prices are back to 2002 levels. the latest s&p case-shiller report this week found home prices in a double dip, down nationally 32.7% from the 2006 peak. the home price plunge once concentrated in the bubble cities, it has spread. in minneapolis, a 10% drop, in phoenix over 8%, chicago 7.6%, washington, d.c., and the northern virginia tech corridor, that's a rare bright spot. prices increasing there. but take a listen to arizona
realtor john greer about one home in on the market in the city of el mirage. >> this is a short sale property, which means the owner owes more on the property than what the house is worth, what it will sell for. this house, the list price, is $70,000. probably was worth 60, possibly 70% more than that during the peak. >> wow. 60 to 70% loss. let's bring in alease gling, this is not just arizona, this is across the country. you're seeing short sales, homes in distress, selling. that's a big part of the housing market right now? >> well, it's about 61% of the housing market according to the realtor's latest numbers. that's just way out of whack number. of course, home prices have to be going down because if you're looking at median home prices, it's the number that have sold above and below the median price. when you're selling lodss of foreclosures and short sales on the low end you need a lot of
high end home sales to balance that out. we're not seeing the demand right now. >> greg mcbride, in el mirage, arizona, where the house is, it's a short sale, would have been 70% more a year ago, likely an investor is buying that home. >> one third of all sales nationally are cash transacti s transactions, two thirds in the hardest hit markets like phoenix, like south florida, the majority taking place on a cash basis. >> sophisticated investors or john and mary lou who saved up their money and buying an investment property. >> more sophisticated investors, but john and mary lou have deep pockets. >> speculators in a market driven up by speculators or people sopping up excess supply and that's a good thing for housing prices? >> i think it's a good thing for prices ultimately. there's a ton of head winds in housing. one good sign, i think this is it because all that cash, people that are willing, investors willing to put their cash at risk, tells me there's a perception of value, particularly in the places where
home prices have fallen the most. that's why i don't think home prices will drop the next 10, 15% like some say despite all the negative signs and all the overhang of inventory. >> interest rates are very, very low. if you're still waiting for a 5% or more decline in home prices before you buy something, interest rates could be moving the wrong way against you. tell me about factoring in interest rates. >> mortgage rates are at six month lows, really only about a quarter of a percentage point above the record lows we saw last fall. affordability is tremendous between the lower home prices. one thing to keep in mind in a lot of markets around the country, what qualifies as a federal loan, those limits are going to be declining. somebody's going to move the goal posts on you. particularly on the refinancing side but even home buyers keep an eye. >> this mortgage snapshot, it's tantalizing if you're thinking in a 2003 brain, about how cheap your loan would be. you got to be able to qualify for that loan and that's part of the problem here?
>> it's really interesting, the numbers that came out this week from the mortgage bankers association tells us that the number of people applying for new loans to buy houses is back to where it was in 1997 or 1998. so our home values have rolled back to 2002 and in some cases earlier, but also the number of people shopping out there has declined. so while greg is exactly right, the bright spot here are the investors, we're really looking at only about 16% of home sales right now. far more than normal. still only 16, 20% are investors. there are a fair number of john and mary lous out there, i love those names and we hope more will come to the fray but really, i think that that's going to be limited because when you look at the lenders willing to lend on investment property, it's fewer and fewer. >> all right. craig mcbride, thank you for dropping by, and illas. thanks to both of you. here's a math quiz for you. what percentage of high school graduates with a 3.0 grade point
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students entering college need a remedial or developmental course a class in math, english, covering material they should have learned in high school? bill bennett is a cnn political contributor, former secretary of education for the reagan administration. bill, what is the problem here? are high schools not aware of what's expected in college or do the couric cue la not line up? >> dumbing down of almost everything, grade school, middle school, high school and college. that's the problem. when i toured the country, when i was secretary of education, went to 120 schools, what i found was this -- everybody at every educational level above third or fourth grade, believes the fundamentalal education work was done at the preceding level. therefore they do creative this, revisionist that, special aspect of with who's doing the basic work and a lot of the basic work isn't getting done. when you add to that, christine, the fact that the s.a.t.s have been dumbed down and higher education has not -- does not
have real expectations of competency to get into higher education, you've got this problem. >> why doesn't higher education have higher expectations? is it because as long as -- >> it wants bodies. >> as long as someone is paying the bills that's what it's about? >> pretty much more a lot of institutions. the selective institutions can be selective and raise their price. if you are breathing, even we think if you're not, you can probably get into an institution of higher education if you can bring the tuition or the government funded support with you. >> bill -- >> that's the way it works. >> what surprised me, these are not quote/unquote bad students. four out of five of the students taking remedial classes graduated high school with a gpa of 3.0 or above. >> this is the sad part. this is deet seps the deception. the child is doing well, parents are told everything is fine, and the child gets to a real test, maybe of his proficiency in reading or writing at the second year of college, or maybe it
waits even until the job market and finds out he didn't know very much wasn't being taught very much. that's not fair. that's a waste of $700 million. >> if some public schools can't get kids out the door with the skills they need, are charter schools the answer? switching gears here. in detroit, good students are fleeing the public schools. we found one school, glazer elementary, where parents and teachers are fighting off the prospect of becoming a charter school. poppy harlow reports. ♪ good evening glazer ♪ so glad you're here >> reporter: a rallying cry from detroit's glazer elementary school. it's one of 26 public schools the city wants to be chartered to help cut the district's $327 million deficit. >> this is a principal's dream right here at glazer. >> reporter: glazer's principal doesn't want to see that happen. >> i like that butterfly too. you did a good job. >> reporter: when we visited glazer was set to be chartered
or closed but the district has since ruled if no charter company qualifies glazer will stay open. five of chris's children attend schools up for charter. >> what's your favorite thing about glazer? >> math. >> shines in the middle of a troubled neighborhood. >> reporter: the district says glazer has performed well, glazer has performed well, but like enrollment across detroit, enrollment has fallen significantly. >> we've lost over 50% of our students. we have to right size the school system here. >> reporter: enter detroit public school new emergency manager, roy roberts. the former gm executive is attacking the crisis like a failing business. >> it's looking at the totality of this community and says, how do we put a system in place that makes sense for this community and do the best job of educating young people. >> reporter: that includes closing yet another 15 schools. >> parent should have a right to have a choice. if their children are in a place where they feel safe and where they're learning and they feel
loved, that's a school that should stay open. >> reporter: by chartering schools the district no longer bears their cost but charter schools must operate more efficiently. >> we're doing it to put an alternative school in place where students can have a choice. >> reporter: if their school is chartered, students can choose to attend or go to another nearby public school. a 2010 study commissioned by the department of education found charter schools are neither more or less successful in public schools in achieving student achievement. though in some subjects, charter schools have had a more positive effe effect in large modern areas. what about turning glazer into a charter school? >> it wouldn't be the same because i don't know who would come in and teach them. it just wouldn't be the same. >> and you know that's the fear that a lot of parents we spoke to and also teachers and principals. as far as when they'll know if
they'll be chartered later this month and bottom line here, christine, a lot of this does come down to money. that principal told me, is this about money? she said, in part, who wants a $30,000 to $40,000 pay cut. if you look at the numbers at charter schools, they traditionally pay less. the teachers don't want a pay cut but the man who you saw in the piece has total power to throw out any union contract he wants and take collective bargaining away. it comes to the point where detroit can't afford these schools and charter is an option and these folks say our school is performing well, just low enrollment is the problem. we don't want you to change our school. >> sometimes we hear from people in places like detroit where they're looking for more options and more choices and it's interesting that this family and this particular school say, no, we don't want another choice. we want this school and we want it the way it is because it's working for us. >> interesting report poppy did there. tough situation. you have the confluence of a lot
of problems. mr. roberts has a problem, too. declining enrollment. we used to talk about white flight. now he's got a problem he has to consolidate. parents get attached to schools. the parent in the segment is obviously attached to the school. she said, we don't know what is going to come next. it's possible that what comes can be better and throughout the piece was the theme of parental choice. giving them some choice. now, she'll have fewer options because there will be fewer schools. if there is some choice preserved, which i think is very important, then she'll have some options as to where to tsend he kids. very tough situation. >> any story with detroit schools leaves you with a lump in your throat at the end because parents are struggling to navigate the different choices that they have. thanks both of you. >> you bet. it doesn't matter if you're 16 or 60, retire with the right amount of money no matter what your age. how to retire rich, next. [ male announcer ] a moment that starts off ordinary
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retirement is essentially a simple concept. you save, your money grows, you retire comfortably. end of story. that was before our financial and job's crisis. according to the aarp one in four americans said they had exhausted all of their savings during the recession. ryan mack is back with us. most people don't know how much money they need to retire, but it's not enough, probably not enough. >> a lot of people think retirement is about vineyards and retiring on the beach and what not. they have not taken the time to figure out how much it will take to get them there. time to start getting a little more aggressive and figuring out exactly what we is to do put our money aside and tools we have to use to get there. >> it's not about a vineyard and beach but having to pay your out of pocket health care costs and being able to pay for your rent. the first step to rebuild for those people that aren't ready.
>> cnnmoney.com has a great site. figuring out what your goals are. what is your finish line. how much is it going to take for you to get there and have a great cal kurt to use in order to figure out what it will take to get there and give you a good sense of guideline on how long it will take to get there. >> establish a goal, learn your resources and establish a system. >> how much will you get from social security and how much you going to get from your pension and your 401(k) and how much it will be left over and then learn the system. what is a roth i.r.a. and are you eligible, income eligible for those type of things. should you get the help of a certified financial planner to assist you on getting you on the right track. >> if you are over 50, you don't have a lot of time to recover and the same survey said 31% of people experienced a financial loss from their home, which they were hoping to help them retire on. what are your advice for people 50 and over?
>> we have been living off this sugar high stroy where for sizing the things we're buying but not our income. you might not need a three-bedroom apartment. could i live without that gym membership and just workout at home. could i cut off the cable and watch television shows on my computer. what can we do to downsize and get us back to when we weren't living above our means. people charged to purchase fast food, we have to take out loans to buy a big mac. we can stay within our means and be more responsible. >> a lot of that was happening. ryan mack, as always, you know, three minutes, i always feel a little richer in a lot of ways when you're around. one final note speaking of feeling a little richer. time to say good-bye it our producer ben tinker. he's off to atlanta to work with